The last Focus Night was on July 19th at the Jam Handy, an incredible old converted film production studio on Grand Boulevard. It used to be run by a guy named Jam Handy, an Olympic-breaststroke-swimmer-turned-filmmaker who produced GM’s training videos and commercials in the middle of the 20th century. Here’s an interesting film he made about how great it was to be a Detroit policeman in 1951:
The current owner of the building, a really nice guy named Sebastian, has turned it into a theatre and performance space, and the soft lighting, hardwood floors, and peaceful atmosphere made for a rich Focus Night. David Hall and Brian LaBeuf showed a film about a church in Detroit that gives exorcisms. Bill Corrigan executed some performance art involving strings, knives and cigarettes.
At one point I thought he might cut his own hand off, but he ended up not doing that. Travelling filmmaker Sam Wolson showed a movie about Venezuela’s first Public TV Station, and I showed a film I’m editing about a scientist named David Pitts and the creature he studies, the Daphnia.
I was really happy about all the conversations that took place around these movies. The space was amazing, the art that got shown was across-the-board engaging and provocative, and everyone who showed up to participate was generous with their thoughts and feedback. Many thanks to everyone who showed up. We’ll see you at the next one, Focus Night Variety Hour on September 14th as part of Scrummage Fest 2012!
In closing, here are some drawings by my friend Alex Hoxie, who was the cinematographer for the Daphnia film.